BOOK REVIEW: 'Effect' impacts students of the media

Just when you think you know a lot about the media, along comes a book to teach you what you don't know. The Press Effect tells how politicians - and the journalists who cover them - are responsible for communicating the whole truth. The book tells us that journalists mold public understanding by deciding what to emphasize and ignore, what is subject to debate, and implicitly what's true and what's false.

Just when you think you know a lot about the media, along comes a book to teach you what you don't know. The Press Effect tells how politicians - and the journalists who cover them - are responsible for communicating the whole truth. The book tells us that journalists mold public understanding by deciding what to emphasize and ignore, what is subject to debate, and implicitly what's true and what's false.

But the press is human too and can err when deciding what to cover, what questions to ask, and when politicians' statements have been exaggerated to benefit one or hurt another. This is a must-read for students of the media. As citizens, we assume that political leaders act in good faith. It's the journalist's job to find out if they are. The book uses examples from the coverage of various recent campaigns, including the 2000 Presidential election, to make its point. It also supplies journalists with the steps to follow. ----- Title The Press Effect Authors Kathleen Hall Jamieson and Paul Waldman Publisher Oxford University Press, 197 pages Reviewed by John Bailey, President/CEO of John Bailey & Associates Public Relations

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